Category Archives: Tryon

Adam Prudent and Vasco Deliver Impressive Win in $35,000 1.50m Suncast Welcome CSI 3*

Adam Prudent and Vasco. Photos ©LizCrawleyPhotography.

Daniel Geitner and Aviator Take $10,000 Pre-Green Hunter Classic

Mill Spring, NC – July 7, 2016 – Adam Prudent (FRA) and his mount Vasco produced two fast clear rounds with a jump off time of 34.213 seconds to earn themselves the blue ribbon in the $35,000 1.50m Suncast® Welcome CSI 3* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Trailing closely behind to finish in second place was Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) and Lady Maria BH, stopping the clock in 34.720 seconds. Third place honors were claimed by Todd Minikus (USA) and Vita 24, finishing in 34.823 seconds.

Prudent and Vasco, a 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Andiamo x Clinton), have solidified themselves as a competitive team and have been partnered together for three years. The duo has traveled the world to compete in multiple FEI competitions and spent ample time at the venue throughout the 2015 season. Prudent was thrilled with his win, which he said started off their week on the right foot. With only six out of 41 competitors advancing to the jump off, Prudent spoke about the technicality of the track set by Martin Otto (GER).

“For the second class of the week, it was quite a hard course; however, it was very well built and the fences were inviting, yet technical. Not many made it to the jump off, which attests how tough the track rode,” he detailed.

Amanda Derbyshire and Lady Maria BH
Amanda Derbyshire and Lady Maria BH

Prudent was second to last in the jump-off order, which played to his favor as he was able to observe the rounds of other riders before strategizing the win. Vasco is a notoriously fast mount for Prudent and can execute tight turns at blazing speeds during the open gallop portions of the track. Derbyshire, who finished in a close second, nearly took the win, but Prudent felt the extra time observing and preparing ultimately helped him to steal the win.

“I was able to watch Amanda go and she did a six up the first line. I tried to get the six, but I was not able to make that happen, so I settled in and did seven strides,” he explained. “I wasn’t worried because my horse is incredibly fast so I planned on cutting corners to make up for the extra stride.”

“I knew what I had to do today, and I executed the plan,” he added.

Prudent spoke about his growing relationship with Vasco and the strengths that allow them to earn exciting victories, similarly to the one they secured Thursday. He said, “Vasco is not only extraordinarily fast; he is also very careful. In the middle of the course he will open up his stride and allow us to cover an impressive amount of ground.”

Looking forward to the remainder of the week after their win, Prudent and Vasco will be a pair to watch on Saturday, July 9, in the $130,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix CSI 3*. Prudent feels confident that the duo will maintain their consistency, especially coming off of their strong win in such a competitive class early in the week.

Prudent and the Plain Bay Sales team will remain based at TIEC for the remainder of the Tryon Summer Series, contesting their abilities each week in numerous national and international classes.

Prudent touched on the expansion and continual growth occurring at TIEC, stating, “I love Tryon. It gets bigger and bigger and better and better every year! Each time we come back there is something new and I’m already enthusiastic about the new derby field because I really enjoy showing on grass footing.”

Daniel Geitner and Aviator Top $10,000 Pre-Green Hunter Classic at Tryon Summer II

Daniel Geitner of Aiken, SC piloted Aviator, owned by Katie Kittrell, to a first place finish in the $10,000 Pre-Green Hunter Classic at Tryon Summer II, besting a class of 10 entries, and securing the victory with a two round score of 163. Pomme Du Coeur, ridden by Samantha Senft of Wellington, FL and owned by Sandalwood Farms, finished in second, collecting a total score of 161, while Jennifer Hannan of Wakefield, RI and Commodore, owned by Jennifer Smith, earned third place, receiving an overall score of 160 for their performance in the class.

Geitner and Aviator tied with Josh Dolan of Wellington, FL and Hidden Lane, owned by Page Tredennick, for the highest first round score, as both combinations received an 86 from the judging panel. Geitner made his move for the win in the second round, earning a 77 to solidify the victory. Geitner will return to the hunter ring Friday, July 8, as he will pilot two mounts in the $2,500 USHJA National Derby, which is set to showcase more than 30 entries.

Competition resumes Friday at TIEC with the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, before international jumper competition returns this weekend. On Saturday, July 9, the $5,000 Pony Hunter Derby will take to the George H. Morris Arena before the popular “Saturday Night Lights” series, which will present the $130,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix CSI 3* beginning at 8:00 p.m. For more information and to see a full list of results, please visit

David O’Brien and O’Splendido Win $35k 1.45m Horseware Ireland Opener CSI 3* at Tryon

David O’Brien and O’Splendido. Photos ©LizCrawleyPhotography.

Mill Spring, NC – July 6, 2016 – David O’Brien (IRL) and O’Splendido sat atop the leaderboard early on in the $35,000 1.45m Horseware Ireland Opener CSI 3* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), maintaining the lead to secure the win with a faultless round and a recorded time of 60.800 seconds. Coming in a close second place with a time of 61.250 seconds was Todd Minikus (USA) aboard Vita 24, while third place honors were awarded to Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) and Cannavaro BH with a time of 61.820 seconds.

O’Brien and O’Splendido, a 2002 Selle Francais stallion (Burggraaf x Voltaire) have been partners for close to a year, building their relationship and contesting multiple FEI classes representing the nation of Ireland. The pair finished second in last week’s Tryon Summer I $35,000 1.45m Horseware Ireland Opener CSI 3* and this week they kicked it into a higher gear to secure the win.

O’Brien went on to speak of the tough track set by Martin Otto (GER), which allowed for varied distances between fences, tight inside turns, and finished with a long gallop down to the last oxer.

“I did eight in the first line, allowing me to set up the tight turn that followed,” noted O’Brien. “I also chose the inside turn, which I believe saved me a lot of time on the clock.”

“With this horse, I gradually get faster as the round continues on, which gives me the ability to take out a stride here and there. I always start out steady, organize my turns, and then move him up steadily throughout the course. He really kicked into an extra gear for me today,” he added.

O’Splendido is a veteran to FEI competition and has plenty of experience in international competition. O’Brien commented on how he uses their combined knowledge to an advantage in the ring, saying, “My horse is older, so he knows how to perform. The speed class is his forte; his ears are pricked, he turns tight, and he really enjoys it. When he puts his eye on that first jump, he is so game, especially in that ring. He is on the job.”

Todd Minikus and Vita 24
Todd Minikus and Vita 24

O’Brien expressed his gratitude for Lisa Lourie and Spy Coast Farm for allowing him to not only compete on O’Splendido, but also provide the opportunity to bring multiple young horses up through the ranks.

“I just have the one horse to compete with at the elite level and the rest that I show are young Spy Coast-bred horses. Competing with the young horses makes the FEI classes possible and also makes wins like today so special,” he detailed. “I am so lucky that Lisa allows me to come to these shows and compete on her incredible horses. I am very thankful for her.”

TIEC continues with competition throughout the remainder of the week, hosting the $35,000 1.50m Suncast® Welcome CSI 3* on Thursday, July 7. “Saturday Night Lights” will return presenting the $130,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix CSI 3* beginning at 8:00 p.m. Premier AA Hunter divisions will run throughout the week, featuring the $10,000 Pre-Green Incentive on Thursday, July 7, as well as the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby on Friday, July 8. The $5,000 Pony Hunter Derby will take to the George H. Morris Arena on Saturday, July 9.

For more information and to see a full list of results, please visit

Eugenio Garza and Armani SL Z Take $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix at Tryon Summer I

Eugenio Garza and Armani SL Z. Photos ©LizCrawleyPhotography.

Premier AA Hunter Competition Showcases Top Performances throughout the Week

Mill Spring, NC – July 3, 2016 – Eugenio Garza of Wellington, FL and Armani SL Z finished a beautiful double clear effort in the $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix to conclude Tryon Summer I competition at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) on Sunday, July 3. The pair secured the win with a time of 37.577 seconds in the jump-off round, while Sydney Shulman of Greenwich, CT piloted both of her mounts to second and third place, respectively. Toscane De L’Isle captured second place, finishing two seconds behind Garza in 39.728 seconds, while Lakvels picked up third place, crossing through the timers in 42.415 seconds. Competition at TIEC resumes on Wednesday, July 6, with the start of Tryon Summer II.

Garza, a rising star who competes internationally for the nation of Mexico, and Armani SL Z are gaining experience together and have earned multiple top place finishes during their spring travels together. As one of two talented eight-year-old mounts in Garza’s string, Armani SL Z is one of the nicest horses in the barn, according to Garza.

“Armani is the oldest son of the Asca Z and we’ve been building him up with my trainer Eddie Macken for a year and a half now,” he explained. “We’ve been waiting a year to do this type of class with this horse. He’s easily the most special we have right now and is one of the nicest horses I’ve ever sat on in my life.”

Armani SL Z, a flashy grey 2008 Zangersheide stallion by Asca Z, is an eye-catching ride, who Garza competes with a confidence and poise well beyond his years. The pair is just solidifying their relationship at the top levels of the sport, but has immense potential. Garza explained their progress with Armani over the course of the past year and also noted that the raw talent of the stallion is something he’s never seen before.

“I really don’t think he has any weaknesses. He’s an unbelievable horse. It’s so fun to improve and learn on a horse like this and I’m hopeful that our streak continues,” he added.

The course, which was set big and took a forward ride, suited Armani SL Z and Garza, who found the technical questions beneficial to their growing competition experience together.

“I’ve known Oscar Soberon since I started riding in Mexico eight or nine years ago. He always builds amazing,” he detailed. “The course had a lot of challenges and he’s been right on the time all week so I knew that it would be tough. It was big enough and had a couple of interesting questions around the course.”

Careful and attentive to not push the stallion too far so early in his career, Garza tactfully rode with the goal of gaining valuable competition experience, but also begin testing their ability to secure a quick and efficient jump-off round.

“I wanted to give him a good rhythm, especially with regard to the time. It was a very fun course to ride and I thought he did very well,” he noted.

Entering the ring after Sydney Shulman, who finished in second and third place in the class, Garza found areas around the course where he felt he could make up the time and ultimately secure the win. He explained, “I saw Syd go on her first horse and she rode a beautiful trip that was smooth and efficient. I thought it was a really fast time and when I went in, I really honestly gave it all that I had with Armani as much as I felt comfortable with.”

“I’m really looking to building up our horses here for the next four weeks. It’s nice to be consistent with a venue and give each horse the time they need,” he detailed. “With my two experienced mounts, Empire and Bariano, we want to do well in the grand prix classes here. We’ve had a great summer so far and we hope to continue that looking forward.”

Emanuel Andrade and Contenders XC
Emanuel Andrade and Contenders XC

The $10,000 High Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic presented by Asheville Regional Airport saw Emanuel Andrade and his own Contenders XC take top honors, finishing the jump-off in 36.651 seconds for first place. The pair edged Nicole Loochtan and her own Carla de Kalvarie Z, who dashed through the timers in 34.384 seconds, but finished with four faults to place second. Victoria Karam, who owns and competes New Life HM, collected third place, dropping a rail in the jump-off and finishing with a time of 38.171 seconds.

Alexandra Duval of Wellington, FL and her own XM earned victory in the $5,000 Medium Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic presented by Ariat with a time of 34.015 seconds. Kady Abrahamson of Loveland, OH and Icebreaker, owned by Abrahamson Equestrian LLC, finished in second, securing a time of 34.24 seconds, while Sabischy Hassler of Wellington, FL and her own Good Boy HM rounded out the top three, stopping the clock in 34.521 seconds.

Premier AA Hunter Competition Showcases Top Performances throughout the Week

Daniel Geitner of Aiken, SC and Lionsgate, owned by Roy Wilten, earned the victory in the $10,000 Pre-Green Classic, finishing with a final score of 164, while Morgane Qualls of Murphreesboro, TN and Lookalike, owned by Sandalwood Farms, took second place with a final score of 162. Sophie Simpson of Wellington, FL and Haiku, owned by Sorensen Stables, collected a third place in the class, which saw 13 total entries.

Soon to Be, owned by Jennifer Smith and ridden by Jennifer Hannan of Wakefield, RI, sat atop the class in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, receiving a two round score of 176 for the win. Blythe Marano of Franklin, TN and Fondant, owned by Virginia Ingram, earned a 172 to finish in second place, while Jennifer Smith of Wellington, FL piloted her own Commodore to a respectable third place finish with a score of 168.

The $1,000 Junior Hunter 3’3″/3’6″ Combined Classic saw Summer Hill and Eclypse, owned by Holly Orlando, lead the class with a two round score of 169. Cecilia D’Amore of Gastonia, NC guided her own Vintage to a second place finish, receiving a 169, while Marion Scott Head of Brownsboro, AL and her own Khan collected a total score of 160 from the judges to take third place.

Lynn Seithel of Johns Island, SC and her own Walk the Moon championed the $1,000 Amateur Owner Hunter 3’3″/3’6″ Combined Classic with a score of 170. Missy Yoder of Palm Beach Gardens, FL and her own Too Much Fun collected second place with a score of 167, while Seithel also earned third place aboard her own Walk the Line with a two round score of 164.

For more information on TIEC and to see a full list of results, please visit

Wordley Dominates aboard Casper in $130,000 Adequan Grand Prix CSI 3* at TIEC

Sharn Wordley and Casper. Photos ©LizCrawleyPhotography.

Mill Spring, NC – July 2, 2016 – Sharn Wordley (NZL) continued his dominance at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), taking top honors in the $130,000 Adequan® Grand Prix aboard Casper, dashing through the jump-off course in 41.694 seconds to secure the only double clear effort of the evening. Matthew Williams (AUS) and Valinski S finished in second place, collecting a single time fault around the short course to earn a finishing time of 42.645 seconds. Peter Wylde (USA) and Aimee crossed through the timers in 41.103 seconds, adding four faults to their score for third place.

Wordley and Casper, who have continued to display their combined talent throughout the duration of the season, notched yet another victory at the venue. On a beautiful North Carolina summer evening, the pair exhibited their newfound confidence and finesse around a difficult course set by Oscar Soberon (MEX), which saw 30 entries attempt to advance to the second round. A small contingent of four combinations advanced to the jump-off round. The evening also drew a massive crowd attendance of more than 12,000 spectators, who visited the venue to experience and appreciate the best of equestrian sport.

“There were four in the jump-off and I knew going in that all four could go quite quick. Casper is very careful. I’ve just been teaching him to jump the big jumps and we haven’t really gone fast at all,” noted Wordley. “Slowly, every time we’ve gone out, I’ve been asking him for just a little bit more, a second or two here and there. We’ve finished well and had some top placings.

“I think he has another two seconds faster in him. We’re slowly teaching him to use that speed. I want to keep the confidence,” he added.

Casper has quickly become a crowd favorite at TIEC, with Wordley piloting strongly from the irons. The duo drew second in the order-of-go and secured the first clear effort around the course, finishing just under the optimum time of 86 seconds. The opening track saw four technical combinations spread throughout the course, which created a sense difficulty in securing a completed round under the time allowed.

“The time in the first round was really tight and because I was second to go, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. We got just inside the time,” explained Wordley. “I had a real decision to make in about fourteen seconds about what my plan was going to be. I thought if we went to the outside fence one and two and then hustled that would be better for my horse.”

“It helped us start the course a little bit smoother than I think taking the inside turn would be. I had to hustle along and it just worked. I thought he jumped really well on Thursday. We had a rail down and he doesn’t like to have rails down, so he felt very sharp today,” he added.

For Casper, building and maintaining confidence has been a major key to the pair’s growing success. The 2006 Oldenburg gelding (Contender x Baloubet du Rouet) owned by Sky Group, has seen a tremendous growth in his ability to perform in pressure situations according to Wordley, and the experience gained competing in several jump-off rounds has been necessary for their long-term career goals. Wordley elaborated, “Before if you galloped full noise to a jump, he’d start backing off and you couldn’t let him reach the full length of his stride. Now he’s comfortable and taking it on. This was the best jump-off he’s ever had.”

“He was ready to go tonight. It felt great and it was a technical course, which I think he enjoys. It wasn’t overly big, but it was definitely technical and careful. They had to jump well. If they didn’t jump well they weren’t going to get around,” he detailed.

Peter Wylde and Aimee
Peter Wylde and Aimee

The victory marked the pair’s fourth top five finish in FEI sanctioned competition in the past four months and their eighth top ten finish in the same time frame. Wordley has carefully educated Casper and has perfected the ride needed to be successful at the highest levels of the sport.

“If you’ve noticed, we haven’t won too many, but I just felt really strongly about taking it slowly. He’s only ten and he’s won three grand prix classes now, but he’s been second in many more. I opted to go slower and again, focus on the confidence,” he commented.

As the massive crowd of spectators descended upon the venue, eager to watch world-class show jumping, their presence intensified an electric atmosphere that offered only positive benefits for both the competing athletes and the sport as a whole. Peter Wylde (USA), an Olympic team gold medalist at the 2002 Athens Olympic Games, rounded out the top three finishers aboard Aimee, and in his first grand prix appearance at the venue, commented on the immense and positive response from the crowd.

“First of all, I have to say, it completely increases the level of any sporting event when you have a crowd like what we had tonight,” detailed Wylde. “It’s fantastic for us, as a country, to finally have another venue outside of Wellington that offers a chance to compete in front an incredible public audience that brings energy to the competition, which is something you can’t create. For us as riders, it’s just so positive for our industry.”

“The facility is incredible. From the stabling to the footing and the appearance of the jumps, really the whole venue,” he continued. “The theatre that’s created by the whole venue is one-of-a-kind. I love the size of the ring because it feels like the crowd is with you the entire way around the course, which is a unique experience.”

Wylde guided two horses to strong placings in the class and was impressed with performance of Aimee, a 2005 Dutch Warmblood mare (Solitair x Silvio II), who contested her largest class and handled the large atmosphere and added pressure exceedingly well.

“Everyone says that the horses jump incredibly well in this venue and I think that’s true,” he stated. “The footing is very good and the atmosphere pushes you to really rise to the occasion. The courses all week were great and this was my first real grand prix with this horse. She’s a fighter and a trier. She handled it very well.”

“I was excited that we almost won and I think this horse can do a lot. I’ve had her for a year now and we’ve been slowly building her up. She’s coming into her own and this is the biggest class she’s ever done, so I have to say, I’m really happy.”

Wylde and Wordley both reiterated their excitement for the expansion of the sport, which has found a supportive and passionate audience base in the western Carolina region at TIEC.

“To have a public that is so enthusiastic and to think about how quickly it’s picked up in this area is inspiring,” Wylde noted. “I’m excited for this facility because it seems like it’s already grown to find huge success, but I’m also excited for us, as an industry. This is a venue working the way it intended to and provides access to our sport in a fun and entertaining way.”

Wordley added, “They’re making a big effort to create a vibe here that is unlike any other venue in the world. I think that was really just a fantastic turnout. That atmosphere is what is going to make people come back and continue to enjoy the sport. I was so impressed, yet again.”

Wordley’s groom, Louise Gaytan, was awarded with the Groom’s Initiative Award presented by Mark Bellissimo and the Tryon Equestrian Partners, in honor and recognition of the dedicated and continuous work of the grooms and essential team members who make grand prix victories possible.

Sarah Segal (USA), who finished in fourth place aboard Zelda, received the Leading Lady Rider Award presented by realtor Meg Atkinson, acknowledging the competition achievements of Segal throughout Tryon Summer I FEI competition.

Competition at TIEC continues Sunday with the final day of Tryon Summer I. Classes will resume on Wednesday, July 6, with the start of Tryon Summer II, which will continue through Sunday, July 10. For more information and to see a full list of results, please visit

Mark Bluman and Thriller P Secure Victory in $35,000 1.50m Suncast Welcome CSI 3*

Mark Bluman and Thriller P. Photos ©LizCrawleyPhotography.

Mill Spring, NC – June 30, 2016 – Mark Bluman (COL) demonstrated his skill and expertise, besting Thursday’s tough field of 37 riders at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) aboard Thriller P in the $35,000 1.50m Suncast® Welcome CSI 3* on the second day of FEI competition at Tryon Summer I. Bluman and Thriller P dominated the complex course design designed by Oscar Soberon (MEX) with an impressive jump-off time of 36.597 seconds.

Taking second place with a speedy and accurate round was Eugenio Garza (MEX) and his ride Empire Van Wuitenshof with a time of 37.142 seconds, while Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) and Lady Maria BH claimed the yellow rosette with a time of 38.023 seconds.

Thriller P is not one of Bluman’s usual mounts, as the 2004 Swedish Warmblood stallion (Cardento x Lucky Light) is owned and ridden by Bluman’s student, Daniela Stransky. Bluman elaborated on why he took over the reins.

“You know it is funny because that horse is not part of my string. He is part of my student’s string. We recently purchased him for her, so we decided that I would show him this week,” he detailed. “I wanted to make sure he went well in the big ring. Every time he has shown, he has been fantastic. With my students, I always prefer to tune-up their horses and help them to feel incredible.

“Thriller P is one of the greatest horses in the barn,” he added.

The tough track asked many questions, yet Bluman and Thriller P exhibited several tidy turns and a deceivingly fast round, delivering the winning answer in the talented class. Bluman elaborated on the athleticism of Thriller P and how he felt the class rode overall.

“In the jump-off, yes I was quick, but on this horse you don’t realize how fast you are actually going,” Bluman commented. “In Florida, I had a very similar ride on him after WEF, where we also won the class. He covers a lot of ground and is very athletic, which is an unbeatable combination.”

Eugenio Garza and Empire Van Wuitenshof
Eugenio Garza and Empire Van Wuitenshof

Bluman went on to speak of the preparation and accuracy needed to excel in classes such as this, which showcased a talented group of international riders. He stated, “Part of my system at home is to practice a line, but do all different numbers of strides in-between those two jumps. We work on collecting and extending, along with gymnastics to teach the horses that those types of situations can happen at the show. We actually practiced something very similar last week to prepare for the four weeks of the Summer Series here at TIEC. That technique teaches the horses to be soft, adjustable, and careful, which helped him feel incredible today.”

Bluman was ecstatic with his win, but is already looking forward to Saturday night. He hopes his accomplished mount, Uitteraard, who he has been successful with at TIEC before, will rise to the occasion in the $130,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 3*. Bluman spoke about Uitteraard, saying, “He is a part of my string and is coming off of a win. I feel very confident and I hope Saturday night goes well!”

Bluman and team now consider themselves locals, training out of a farm only minutes from the show, and will strive to be top contenders at TIEC for the remainder of the Summer Series. They also have plans to return for the 2016 Tryon Fall Series.

World-class show jumping and nationally rated hunter divisions will continue throughout the week at TIEC, consisting of a $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby and a $10,000 Pre-Green Hunter Classic on Friday, July 1. The highlight event on Friday, however, will be the first ever Great Charity Challenge of the Carolinas (GCCC), which encourages guests and spectators to dress in costume representing this year’s super heroes theme! Gates will open at 5:00 p.m. and competition will begin at 7:00 p.m.

The “Saturday Night Lights” series will return for weekend fun, beginning Saturday, July 2, and continuing four consecutive Saturdays through July 23. Entertainment will start at 6:00 p.m. and the class is set to commence at 8:00 p.m. Following competition on Saturday evening, TIEC will host the first-ever laser light show the Foothills region in the George H. Morris Arena in celebration of the upcoming Fourth of July holiday. For more information and to see a full list of results, please visit

Sharn Wordley and Famoso D Ive Z Win $35k 1.45m Horseware Ireland Opener CSI 3* at Tryon

Sharn Wordley and Famoso D Ive Z. Photos ©LizCrawleyPhotography.

Mill Spring, NC – June 29, 2016 – Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Famoso D Ive Z, owned by the Sky Group & Sharn Wordley, kicked off the first day of competition at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) ringing in the start of the 2016 Tryon Summer Series with an impressive win in Wednesday’s $35,000 1.45m Horseware Ireland Opener CSI 3*. The pair clinched the win with a hasty time of 69.14 seconds, besting a talented field of 33 competitors.

Finishing in a close second place position was David O’Brien (IRL) aboard his mount O’Splendido with a time of 71.40 seconds, while Cantara 59, piloted by Sarah Segal (USA), produced another fast time clear round, crossing the timers in 71.05 seconds for third place.

Wordley and Famoso D Ive Z, a 2007 Belgian Warmblood gelding (For Pleasure x Chin Chin), have been partners for little over a year now, and have exhibited their talents in multiple FEI classes so far this season across the United States, as well as at TIEC. Wordley mentioned that Famoso D Ive Z is a spooky horse, yet he continues to deliver winning rounds and improve his technique.

“Famoso D Ive Z has won several opening classes, which is a little humorous because he is such a spooky horse. You would think he would get better as the week continues on, but he seems to be superior on the first day,” said Wordley.

He went on to speak of the challenging speed track set by Oscar Soberon (MEX), saying, “In the beginning of the course, it suited me to go quite fast. In the later part though, I had to go slower than some of the other competitors, but he jumped fantastic.”

Famoso D Ive Z excels in any type of class, which Wordley elaborated is a major component of his versatility and athleticism. The duo had amassed a string of consistent performances throughout the spring circuit and Wordley has fine-tuned what makes the gelding truly competitive in the ring.

“He has a massive stride and you can go really fast into big jumps and combinations,” he detailed. “I made up a lot of time between fences two and three because I could keep galloping down the long approach to the combination.”

“He is just an extremely fast horse. When he is clean, he is hard to beat. He is great to have on my team,” he elaborated. “Looking forward for the rest of the week, Famoso D Ive Z will compete in tomorrow’s FEI ranking class, and then my main mount, Casper, will also contest the ranking class tomorrow and the Grand Prix on Saturday night.”

David O'Brien and O'Splendido
David O’Brien and O’Splendido

Wordley is no stranger to TIEC, having solidified an impressive record at the facility throughout the spring season. Wordley and his team will remain in Mill Spring, NC for all four weeks of the summer series, as well as for the full duration of the 2016 Tryon Fall Series beginning in September. Wordley noted that he’s eager to stay at venue, especially after the quality finishes his string has produced in the major classes hosted so far this year.

“We love it here. It is fantastic. We like to support TIEC because the money is great and the competition is very respectable. We’ve continued to place well,” he added. “It’s also a very convenient location to our home base in Lexington, KY. It’s just an incredible spot.”

Competition will continue to heat up this week at TIEC, as competition on Thursday will showcase the $35,000 1.50m Suncast® Welcome CSI 3*, while Friday will host a $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby and a $10,000 Pre Green Hunter Classic. The inaugural Great Charity Challenge of the Carolinas (GCCC) is set for Friday, July 1, with gates opening at 5:00 p.m. and competition beginning at 7:00 p.m.

The popular “Saturday Night Lights” series will return for four consecutive weeks of weekend fun, beginning Saturday, July 2. Entertainment will start at 6:00 p.m. and the class is set to commence at 8:00 p.m. Following competition on Saturday evening, TIEC will host a one-of-a-kind laser light show in the George H. Morris Arena in celebration for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday. For more information and to see a full list of results, please visit

Great Charity Challenge of the Carolinas Heading to Tryon Int’l Equestrian Center on July 1st


Mill Spring, NC – June 25, 2016 – The inaugural Great Charity Challenge of the Carolinas (GCCC) will highlight the first week of the Tryon Summer Series at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) on Friday, July 1, showcasing the talents of both professional and amateur competitors as they ride to raise money for local charities in the Carolina Foothills region. The super hero theme for the 2016 event will serve to honor and recognize the heroes in the local community for their dedication and commitment to philanthropic work.

The Great Charity Challenge of the Carolinas (GCCC) is a charity-fueled competition, which comes to life in the form of a relay race, pairing teams of two equestrian competitors to selected charities operating in the local community. Teams will race through a jumper relay course with tracks set at two different heights, 1.15m and 1.30m, in the George H. Morris Arena at TIEC under the lights. Competition on Friday, July 1 will begin at 7:00 p.m. with festivities and entertainment beginning at 5:00 p.m.

Each of the 26 teams will race to finish the relay track in the fastest time, while $300,000 will be raised throughout the evening. Each charity paired with a team will receive a minimum of a $5,000 donation, while the winner will hoist a check for $75,000 at the end of the competition. 100% of the proceeds raised throughout the evening will be distributed to participating non-profit organizations.

The Great Charity Challenge of the Carolinas is the sister event to the Great Charity Challenge (GCC) hosted at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL each winter, which was conceptualized by Mark Bellissimo and his daughter Paige Bellissimo in an effort to give back to those in need in Palm Beach County. The event, which began in 2010, has distributed more than $9 million to more than 150 charities across Palm Beach County.

Currently teams of two or individuals wishing to be paired with a team through the submission of a donation can still register for the event. Finalized teams will be announced this week. For more information regarding team sign up, please contact and for more information about the Great Charity Challenge of the Carolinas, please visit If interested in becoming a team sponsor for the event, please contact to learn more. Donations made in honor of the event are tax-deductible.

Samuel Parot and Couscous Van Orti Win $86k 1.50m Suncast Challenge to Wrap Up Tryon Spring

Samuel Parot and Couscous Van Orti. Photos ©FlyingHorsePhotography.

Mill Spring, NC – June 12, 2016 – On the final day of FEI CSI 5* classes at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), Samuel Parot (CHI) took home the blue ribbon in the $86,000 1.50m Suncast® Challenge on his mount Couscous Van Orti. The speedy duo edged the competition with a time of 35.128 seconds. Parot was one of two combinations to jump double clear around the challenging course designed by Alan Wade (IRL). Karl Cook (USA) piloted his ride Caillou 24 to a faultless round and a time of 36.822 seconds, earning them second place. Coming in third to round out top three was Scott Keach (AUS) and Fedor with a time of 37.490 seconds.

The class brought an exciting jump-off round featuring six horse and rider combinations and had spectators cheering for Parot, as he dashed through the course and made a big move to the last oxer. Alan Wade delivered another solid course, building two tracks that aimed to test speed and agility. Parot commented on the course, “Alan Wade is really strong course designer and each of his courses is tough, yet fair. In the jump-off I kept seeing good distances. I honestly got a little lucky, and I won. A little luck is always necessary.”

“Both of my horses jumped well this week and I’m pleased with their performances,” he added.

Couscous Van Orti, a 2002 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Nabab de Reve x Cash), and Parot have been a team for a little over a year, competing in multiple FEI CSI 4* and FEI CSI 5* competitions. Parot spoke about the facility, which is growing to be a favorite stop for his team, saying, “Everything here is amazing. It is new, the footing is pristine, and the people are great. Also, the attention to the riders is unlike another show I’ve been too.”

On the final day of TIEC’s first ever FEI CSI 5* week, Parot touched on the importance of the entire competition, as he successfully guided two horses to top finishes, stating, “I cannot say enough good things about Tryon. It is comfortable for the riders and the horses. I hope more and more people will begin to come here because it is an unbelievable place.”

Karl Cook and Caillou 24
Karl Cook and Caillou 24

With this thrilling win now under his belt, Parot feels confident for the future success of Couscous Van Orti, Atlantis and the rest of his team as they begin a short break in competition before heading back to North Carolina for the four weeks of the Tryon Summer Series.

“Next we will head to Chile, my home country, for two weeks and then we will back to Tryon in July for the FEI CSI 3* and FEI CSI 4* competitions in the summer series,” he explained. “My plan for the fall is to head north to compete in Calgary at Spruce Meadows and then maybe the L.A. Masters in California. Wellington, FL will be our winter pit stop, before returning to this remarkable facility in the spring in 2017.”

“Normally every year after the winter season in Wellington, I head to Europe. However, last spring I came here to the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) and I was blown away. There is no need to go to Europe when America has immaculate shows such as these. We will absolutely be back,” Parot added.

Competition draws to a close at TIEC, concluding the 2016 Spring Series, which could not have been more successful, showcasing the talents of equestrians from around the country and the world. The first two weeks of the 2016 Tryon Summer Series, will begin on Wednesday, June 29, and entail back-to-back FEI CSI 3* weeks and AA Premier hunter divisions. The Tryon Summer Series will host four consecutive weeks of the popular “Saturday Night Lights” Series with two consecutive $130,000 Grand Prix CSI 3* classes up for grabs, followed by two $216,000 CSI 4* classes. The inaugural Great Charity Challenge of the Carolinas (GCCC) is set for Friday, July 1. If interested in participating as a rider or becoming a team or event sponsor, please contact For more information on Tryon International Equestrian Center please visit

Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili Win $380k Horseware Ireland Grand Prix

Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili. Photos ©MegBanks/TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – June 11, 2016 – On a historic and entertaining evening at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) featuring performances by Grammy-award winning artist Lee Greenwood and a special aviation demonstration by the Warbirds Flyover team, Kristen Vanderveen (USA) guided Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili to their first ever FEI CSI 5* victory, signaling the conclusion of an incredibly successful spring series. The duo, which earned their victory in the $380,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 5* for the Governor’s Cup in front of an enthusiastic crowd, outlasted the eleven horse jump-off with a time of 42.557 seconds for the win. Andrew Welles (USA) and Brindis Bogibo finished in second place, crossing through the timers in 44.191 seconds, while David Blake (IRL) and Binkie completed their FEI CSI 5* debut in third, finishing the track in 46.668 seconds.

Saturday’s event brought together a massive crowd from the western North Carolina region, amplifying the atmosphere in the stadium and creating a unique experience for a class full of veteran riders and rising stars. Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili followed several incredible performances in the electrifying jump-off round, which saw eleven combinations test the short course designed by Alan Wade (IRL).

Each of the top three placed horse and rider combinations contested their first major FEI CSI 5* class, making it a memorable evening for each of them individually, as well as marking a monumental class for the sport of show jumping, as three talented riders reached the podium at the highest levels of the sport for the first time.

“I have no words. I’ve never won a class of this caliber before and I’m overwhelmed and excited,” smiled Vanderveen, whose energy was palpable after the class. “He was super relaxed today and this is his second night class here this season. In the first class, he was a little bit excited, but tonight he really settled in and fed off of the atmosphere and the crowd, which was great.”

Vanderveen earned her first career FEI win at the venue in 2015 aboard Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili in the $127,000 Kingsland Grand Prix and the two have only improved since garnering a series of top finishes throughout the 2016 season. Determined to piece together two strong rounds of competition under the lights, Vanderveen rode the 2005 Belgian Warmblood stallion (Berlin x Darco) owned by Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC, with a forward pace, making use of his large stride, especially on the short course track.

“I wanted to give this class a real shot. I went in knowing that I was going to go for it and lay it out there. It worked out well for us and he was really with me. He used a lot of his ability and thankfully he has a lot to give,” she elaborated.

Getting to know the talented stallion has been a focus of Vanderveen’s, as the pair encountered immediate success before re-evaluating a training regimen and competition plan in the past few months. She described the process, stating, “It’s been coming up on a year and a half that we’ve had him. It’s still a new partnership and finally over the past six months we’ve really started to understand each other better.

“I’m looking forward to finishing the season here through July and building on that consistency,” she detailed, explaining their competition plans for the coming months. “I’m really looking towards the winter season again, as that’s where I’d really like to start pulling all of these pieces together and do some big things with him there as well.”

Andrew Welles and Brindis Bogibo
Andrew Welles and Brindis Bogibo

Welles, who earned a top career finish in the FEI CSI 4* competition at TIEC nearly a year ago, guided Brindis Bogibo to a well-earned second place. The pair, who recently began competing at the FEI level together, proved that their partnership has grown tremendously in the past two months.

“It’s an amazing feeling. I’m over the moon right now. Just seeing the atmosphere and it was such a beautiful night for an event like this,” commented Welles. “The crowd that they drew and the plane flyover, I just feel so fortunate to have been able to compete in this class and anything on top of that was just a bonus.”

Saturday’s competition came full circle for Welles, who explained that his fourth place finish in the grand prix at the FEI CSI 4* during the Tryon Spring Series in 2015, propelled the purchase of Brindis Bogibo, as AEM Enterprises and the Scudder family, approached him concluding the class, offering support for another horse to compete at the top levels.

“I would say our good finish here last year with my mare Boo was the catalyst for getting Brindis. I flew over the day after this horse show to try him. AEM Enterprises and the Scudder family have been so supportive of me. I don’t think we pictured coming back here and finishing better the next year, but it’s a great feeling.”

The 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Grand Pilot I x Pacific), owned by AEM Enterprises, has stepped up recently, and Welles felt it was time to test the gelding, without holding any expectations for the outcome of this week.

“He’s just such a special horse. He has an unbelievable character and a huge heart. He hadn’t jumped bigger than a 1.35m last year when we bought him as a nine year old, so I’ve spent the fall and the winter filling in the pieces. It’s really started to come together over the past two months,” he detailed.

“It’s been a very fun ride. I feel incredibly blessed to have him and the entire team around me. I just owe it all to them,” he added.

Originally, the main event of the week, the $380,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 5* for the Governor’s Cup, was not even a consideration for Welles, who didn’t anticipate that his mount would be ready to compete at the CSI 5* level this early in the season. Undaunted by course, Brindis and Welles made easy work of the first round track and only a small bobble to a difficult slice at the Rolex vertical would drop them behind the pace of Vanderveen.

“I hadn’t really committed to do this class. My original plan when I was mapping out the spring was to do Thursday and Sunday here,” he said. “He’s exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds as to what I had planned out for the spring. The two most recent classes we did on him we had a rail and both were my fault. There was really nothing holding him back from deserving a chance to take a shot at this class.”

“I think that Alan Wade is one of the best course designers in the world and I had confidence that it would be a fair chance to move my horse up and experience this level of competition,” Welles added.

David Blake and Binkie also completed their first FEI CSI 5* and have continued to demonstrate their strength and consistency throughout the season at TIEC. Binkie and Blake finished well throughout the week, but Blake explained he felt Binkie was excellently prepared, both mentally and physically for the test of the main event, in which he excelled.

“I thought last week he felt great and was a bit unlucky. He jumped great and had a rail down in the jump-off, but I knew that he was ready for this week,” commented Blake. “Again, I felt like we were a bit unlucky in the Welcome, so I knew we were knocking on the door for a good performance.”

The duo worked for their first round effort, but Binkie rose to the occasion around the short course, nearly pressing Vanderveen for time during the last line, which concluded at the Horseware Ireland oxer in front of the crowd.

“I had to work in the first round tonight, but then in the jump-off he really worked for me. The crowd was really great tonight and I could feel that he was feeding off of that energy, especially going into the double. It worked out really well tonight and I’m just delighted with him.”

Luis Salvaras accepted the $500 Groom’s Initiative Award presented by Mark Bellissimo and the Tryon Equestrian Partners, recognizing his efforts as the main care provider for Vanderveen’s winning mount Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili. An essential member of the Bull Run Jumpers team, Salvaras is responsible and dedicated to the daily care and well-being of the incredibly talented stallion, who has become a top mount in Vanderveen’s string.

Among several other awards, Vanderveen received the Leading Lady Rider Award presented by Meg Atkinson for the second week in a row, honoring and recognizing her success and performance in FEI classes throughout the week.

Competition at TIEC continues Sunday with the final day of the 2016 Tryon Spring Series featuring the $10,000 Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic 1.40m presented by Asheville Regional Airport at 8:00 a.m., the $85,000 1.50m Suncast® Challenge at 10:00 a.m., followed by the $5,000 Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic 1.30m presented by Ariat® beginning at 11:30 a.m. For more information on TIEC and to see a full list of results, please visit

Erica Quinn Captures First Career International Hunter Derby Win with Need I Say at TIEC

Erica Quinn and Need I Say. Photos ©FlyingHorsePhotography.

Karl Cook Bests the Competition aboard Caillou 24 in $35,000 1.45m Horseware Ireland Speed Stake CSI 5*

Mill Spring, NC – June 10, 2016 – Erica Quinn of Mainesville, OH and Need I Say captured their first career derby win together, topping the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby presented by Mirimichi Green at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Quinn and Need I Say received a final two round score of 369 to take the win. Kelley Farmer of Wellington, FL guided Point Being and Baltimore to second and third place, respectively, earning total scores of 368 and 359 from the judging panel. Competition at TIEC continues Saturday with the highly anticipated $380,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 5* for the Governor’s Cup beginning at 8:00 p.m. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. with free admission and free parking for all attendees.

Quinn, who recently took over the ride on the 2008 Warmblood gelding owned by Kelley Farmer, was elated with the performance of Need I Say under the lights in the George H. Morris Arena. The pair completed an effortless and athletic handy round, which ultimately pushed them to the top of the leaderboard. Andy Christison built the course, which showcased a number of airy oxers and difficult combinations, proving to be a tough test for riders throughout the evening.

“He’s just an amazing animal. I can’t say enough nice things about that horse. In the first round, I bobbled going into the two stride, which I was mad at myself for, but then I came back in the second round and was confident. He’s just such a good handy horse. I feel like I can do anything on him,” she explained.

Need I Say has an attitude and athleticism that allows him to excel in the handy round, which is one of his most notable strengths. The pair received 10 handy points from each of the judging panels to boost their score after performing an effortless, but bold second round.

“When I turn, it doesn’t matter if it’s one stride or three strides, he’s always going to leave the ground. He gives you such a nice feeling over the fences,” she added. “I’m new to doing the derbies and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, but I also think that I just need to keep doing them and get used to the atmosphere.”

Originally, Friday’s class was not on Quinn’s planned competition schedule, as she had arranged to stay in Kentucky, but at the last minute decided to bring Need I Say with the other group of horses traveling to the TIEC venue with Kelley Farmer and Larry Glefke.

“Kelley told me to come down here to do the $50,000 instead of staying in Kentucky and now I’m sure glad I did,” she smiled. “It really worked out for us and I can’t say enough nice things about Larry and Kelley. This is an amazing opportunity for me and I couldn’t thank them enough.”

Farmer had the initial ride on the gelding after he arrived stateside and collected two derby wins right off the bat in Pensacola, FL, establishing Need I Say as a strong derby contender. Quinn took over the ride this spring, and has been competing the gelding since, learning from Farmer and her winning ways.

“Kelley has quite a few horses in her derby string and was nice enough to let me ride this horse. He finished very well here a few weeks ago too. This is our second derby together and the other was a few weeks ago here where we finished in third,” explained Quinn. “I’m just so thankful that she gave me the ride.”

Quinn has worked at Lane Change Farm with Glefke and Farmer for nearly two years and focuses on many of the Pre-Green horses in the barn, but is beginning to turn more of her attention to Need I Say.

“Erica has worked with us for a while and has done a very good job. She’s worked for this chance and she’s definitely paid her dues. Everyone needs a chance and she’s earned this,” said Farmer. “I have plenty of horses in my string and I wanted her to have a horse that had no tricks and that was capable of competing with mine. In the handy rounds, when we tell her, you know, you have to go inside, she has a horse that can do it.”

Farmer found Need I Say on a trip to Europe and his talent and scope drove her to cancel an original flight home and travel across Germany to try the horse for herself. She explained, “One of our agents over there showed him to me and I bought him on the same trip that I bought It’s Me. It turned out to be very worthwhile,” she laughed.

“He had done quite a bit in Europe and had won as a young horse. He was cut late and I got on him not too long after he was gelded. I watched him jump some pretty big courses and when I sat on him I thought that there is no way they can build anything on a Saturday night at Derby Finals that will phase this horse.”

“There is no horse that can do things like he does in the handy. It’s really unbelievable. He is the most beautiful and rideable horse. Anywhere you put him he’s going to go. I knew that he would walk into any derby ring and win,” she added.

Farmer also commented on her second and third place rides, noting that both horses performed well, while Baltimore’s third place finish makes him the fastest earning hunter to reach $100,000 in prize money.

“Baltimore was a really good boy and I made a little bit of a mistake, which pushed down our score and it was my fault, but Point Being was great. He still can get a little bit green, especially at night,” she elaborated. “He wants to try so hard and he’s such a careful horse. He’s an overachiever and he gets a little overwhelmed at night, but that’s just him and that’s what I love. He just has an intensity that you don’t typically feel and is what makes him so special.”

Karl Cook Bests the Competition aboard Caillou 24 to Secure a Win in the $35,000 1.45m Horseware Ireland Speed Stake CSI 5*

Karl Cook (USA) quickly crossed through the timers to secure victory in the $35,000 1.45m Horseware Ireland Speed Stake CSI 5* aboard Caillou 24 at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Cook rose to the top of the leaderboard with an efficient time of 65.10 seconds to secure the win. Richie Moloney (IRL) trailed closely behind with a time of 65.80 seconds with his mount Slieveanorra, while Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Cyklon 1083 rounded out the top three with a time of 67.31 seconds.

Karl Cook and Caillou 24
Karl Cook and Caillou 24

Cook and Caillou 24 tackled Alan Wade’s (IRL) track with a smooth and quick effort, as the pair used the opportunity to gain valuable experience at the 1.45m height. Wade has built competitive and educational courses throughout the week and Cook noted that the design was very suitable for the strengths of his horse.

He elaborated, “The way Alan [Wade] set the course made for the riders to take exciting turns instead of having to protect the front rails. It allowed us to flow down the lines and it was very nice to ride.”

Caillou 24 is a talented and young mount for Cook, as the pair has just started to regularly compete at the FEI level together. Caillou 24, a 2007 Holsteiner gelding (Casall x Corrado I), previously campaigned to the FEI CSI 3* level in Europe before Cook took over the ride early in 2014. Taking his time training the gelding at home, the pair have built confidence and a stronger relationship over the past year. After concluding a successful winter campaign, Cook felt it was time to gain more experience in a major FEI competition atmosphere.

“We have been protecting him a little bit and trying to teach him how to jump the way we want. But, at the same time, they also need to learn how to go fast and the only way to do that is by competing,” he explained. “He’s very good because he turns extraordinarily tight yet has a huge stride to leave out in a lot of the lines too. Normally you never get those two together in a single horse, so it’s a great feeling to have in the ring.”

Cook is based year-round out of Woodside, CA and spoke about what motivated his team to travel to TIEC for the venue’s first ever FEI CSI 5* week. Eric Navet (FRA), who Cook trains with year-round, also made the trip east with several horses.

“I had heard rumors about the place and wanted to see it for myself. My first impression of the venue was just wow, to be honest,” said Cook. “It has taken an incredible and obvious amount of foresight and investment to bring this facility to where it is. The thing is, this area is closer than people on the back home would think. You’re only five hours from Kentucky and it’s in a really great location for travel.”

“You also have to acknowledge the huge amount of prize money available at this venue. It is modern jumping. You are jumping on consistently good footing and the jumps are great,” he added. “Everything is really convenient for everyone and that’s what is important. It’s not just rings and barns; it’s so much more. Nothing about this venue is bad for our sport; it’s only going to do great things for it.”

Cook and his team will head back to California once the week concludes on Sunday, but will make arrangements to return to the venue in 2017 for next season’s competitive spring series. Once his string is back and settled, the team will look to finish a very strong summer and fall season, which will include several FEI World Cup Qualifiers, which will now be hosted on the West Coast.

“We are going to head home and work with the horses because you can’t really train them at the show the best you would like to.” Cook commented. “We might come back to do Central Park and possibly loop that in with the Million in Saugerties. I felt like we needed to come out here and feel it out. We will be back for the Spring Series here next season for sure,” he added.

For more information on the events and activities at TIEC, please visit